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For those of you who do not know the details of the case, a full summary is pasted below this update. A quick tl;dr: billionaire and his wife are found murdered in their homes on December 15, 2017. After initially classifying it as a murdesuicide, police later reclassified it as a murder after the family hired a PI. Very little information has come out since, but the two main theories here seem to be family resentments over finances (his cousin, Kerry Winter, seems particularly unhinged during interviews, although I don't think he's involved) and a corporate hit due to Sherman's practice of undercutting major pharmaceutical companies with generic alternatives.
This update isn't very Earth-shattering, but it's the biggest development yet given the lack of information provided by police thus far. A lead investigator stated last week that police have "an idea of what happened", and the journalist who broke the story claims at least one witness is refusing to speak to the police. Other people that investigators would like to speak to cannot be located, and the police believe these folks may have fled the country. In another article (which has since been payblocked, so I didn't post the link. Any Star subscribers out there?), it is stated that the police should finally be getting access to electronic records this week which may prove helpful in the investigation.
I don't know how excited to get about this, as the investigator's words sound *very* carefully chosen. "An idea of what happened" is a far cry from "a trail of evidence leading to a suspect(s)." Obviously this doesn't help us in speculating who might be responsible, but I at least have hope that substantial developments will be revealed in the near future.
SUMMARY (FROM WIKIPEDIA)
Bernard Charles "Barry" Sherman
(February 25, 1942 – December 15, 2017) was a Canadian businessman and philanthropist who was chairman and CEO of Apotex
Inc. With an estimated net worth of US$3.2 billion at the time of his death, according to Forbes
, Sherman was the 12th-wealthiest Canadian.
Another publication, Canadian Business
, stated his fortune at $4.77 billion (CAD), ranking him the 15th richest in Canada.
Sherman and his wife were murdered in their home by unknown assailants, according to Toronto Police who are still investigating the case.
Early life and education
Sherman was born into a Jewish family in Toronto
to Herbert Dick "Hyman" Sherman (1906–1952),
a business partner for a zipper company,
and Sara "Sarah" Sherman (née Winter; 1910–1971),
an occupational therapist after her husband's death.
His grandparents from both sides had fled persecution of Jews in Russia and Poland.
His father died from heart attack when Bernard was still young at the age of 10.
He won a national physics contest while attending the Forest Hill Collegiate Institute
and graduated with top marks.
He entered the University of Toronto's engineering science program
at age 16, believed to be the youngest to do so.
The same year, he signed up for a Canadian Army organized student militia.
He graduated with the highest honours in his class and received the university's Governor General's Award
for his thesis.
In 1967, he completed a PhD in astrophysics
from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
During high school and while at the University of Toronto, Sherman often worked for his uncle Louis Lloyd Winter
, at his Empire Laboratories
, then Canada's largest wholly owned pharmaceutical company.
When his uncle would travel, Sherman often helped watch over the operations.
In 1967, after completing his PhD, Sherman purchased the Empire Group of Companies from the executor of the estate of his aunt and uncle, Beverley and Louis Lloyd Winter
, as both had died seventeen days apart in November 1965, leaving four orphaned young children: Paul Timothy, Jeffrey Andrew, Kerry Joel Dexter, and Dana Charles.
Prior to the purchase, Empire was the first to secure the compulsory rights to manufacture Hoffmann-La Roche
's Valium (diazepam
), and was one of Canada's largest manufacturers of Pfizer
's Vibramycin (doxycycline
), Upjohn Company
's Orinase (tolbutamide
), and the dietary sweetener saccharin
. To facilitate the corporate acquisition, Sherman along with his high school friend, Joel Ulster (Sherman and Ulster Limited
), offered 5% equity options
) to each of the four children and a 15-year royalty
on four of its patented products.
In 1970 he invested in New York's Barr Laboratories with US-based partners, became its largest shareholder and served as Barr's president.
As of 2000, he controlled about 33% of Barr Laboratories' stock. Barr won the first rights to manufacture generic versions of Eli Lilly
. Today, Barr Laboratories' is a part of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
, the world's largest generic drug maker,
following Teva's acquisition of Barr Pharmaceuticals
In January 1972, Sherman and Ulster Limited sold Empire Laboratories to the Quebec
-based Canadian operations of publicly traded International Chemical and Nuclear (ICN) of California, for 57,000 shares (Valeant Pharmaceuticals
). In 1973, Sherman started Apotex with a few former Empire Laboratories' personnel and he incorporated it in 1974. This privately owned and Sherman-controlled company claims to be Canada's largest Canadian-owned pharmaceutical manufacturer.
Sherman also became involved in Nutraceutical manufacturing and other businesses, founding NION (National Institute of Nutrition) with Richard Kashenberg. He later sold the company to Schiff and continued on to Apotex.
By 2016, Apotex employed over 10,000 people as one of Canada's largest drug manufacturers, with over 260 products selling in over 115 countries. Revenues were about $1.5 billion annually.
Sherman married Honey Reich (1948–2017),
a fellow University of Toronto
graduate born in 1948 (sic) in Austria to Polish Holocaust survivors.
They had four children,
a son, Jonathon, and three daughters, Lauren, Alexandra and Kaelen.
Sherman, with his wife, donated a record $50 million to the United Jewish Appeal
They provided funds to build a major addition to the geriatric Baycrest
and to other Toronto-area community centres in Ontario.
The couple were also major donors to the United Way
As well, the Apotex Foundation had sent over $50 million worth of medicine to disaster zones since 2007.
Reputation and personality
Sherman had a mixed reputation, or what the National Post
called "Two Legacies".
Toronto Mayor John Tory
said "Barry and Honey were kind, good people" and Sherman was widely praised for his philanthropic giving.
Sherman was called "a deplorable human being" in reference to his business practices, by University of Ottawa
law professor Amir Attaran
who claimed that he gouged Canadians with high drug prices: "Canadians pay more for generic drugs than almost every other country. He sought to manipulate our system to enrich himself and impoverish Canadian patients who used his drugs", he said.
He accused Sherman of crossing intellectual property right ethical lines to "fight as many as 100 battles at a time in court to challenge drug patents and make way for Apotex's generic prescriptions" with little end benefit to consumers.
As told in Jeffrey Robinson's 2001 book "Prescription Games: Money, Ego and Power Inside the Pharmaceutical Industry", Sherman himself acknowledged the long-running conflict between Apotex and the major pharmaceutical companies over drug patents, saying "The branded drug companies hate us. They have private investigators on us all the time. The thought once came to my mind: why didn't they just hire someone to knock me off?"
In 2011, the Winter children (his cousins) sued Sherman alleging he never paid royalties and equity in Apotex, contending Sherman had used the proceeds from the 1972 sale of their late father's business Empire to buy Apotex in 1973.
The cousins sought a 20% interest in Apotex or damages of $1 billion. Sherman responded by withdrawing millions of dollars in financial assistance to his cousins. The cousins' contended that Sherman "had offered the financial assistance in the first place in order to make the cousins dependent on him, and to keep them from learning about their rights to the business", though this was denied by Sherman.
In September 2017, an Ontario Superior Court justice ruled against the cousins, saying the case was "wishful thinking, and beyond fanciful."
At the time of the judgement, a lawyer for the cousins said they would appeal, though no appeal occurred, and Sherman died a few months later under unknown circumstances.
At the time of his death, Sherman was under investigation because of a fundraiser he had held for Justin Trudeau
in April 2015, allegedly contrary to Canada's lobbying
Sherman filed a lawsuit in May 2016, attempting to quash the investigation. "There is basis to conclude that Mr. Sherman is in breach of ... the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct as a consequence of his involvement in the organization of a fundraising event for the (Liberal Party),
" according to Phil McIntosh, director of investigations at the Office of the Lobby Commissioner. If that had been proven, Sherman would have been banned from lobbying for five years.
A partial draft of his unpublished memoir, called Legacy of Thoughts
, was submitted as part of Sherman's motion for summary judgment
in a lawsuit brought by his orphaned cousins. He described the manuscript as his observations on philosophy, Canadian politics and the pharmaceutical industry.
Sherman did not believe in God, free will, altruism or morality.
"I find no inconsistency in holding intellectually that life has no meaning, while at the same time being highly motivated to survive and to achieve", he once said.
Barry Sherman was targeted by the Canadian wing of the Jewish Defense League
, a group on the FBI's terrorist list, and had been sued by Israel`s largest generic-drug maker, Teva
On December 15, 2017, police officers were called to Sherman's home at 50 Old Colony Road in North York
, by the couple's real estate agent,
where they discovered the bodies of Sherman and his wife hanging side by side next to their indoor pool. The deaths are being treated as "suspicious" and the Toronto Police Service Homicide Squad
has taken the lead in the investigation, because this unit is the "most experienced in dealing with sudden unexpected deaths".
Post-mortem examinations showed the cause of both deaths was "ligature neck compression",
which is ligature strangulation
caused by binding or tying.
Ligature strangulation is usually distinguished from hanging
by the strangling force being something other than the person's own body weight.
Toronto Police Service had previously told the news media that there was no indication of forced entry into the Sherman home and that their investigation does not include a search for any suspects.
Although there was no note left by the deceased,
police sources told the Toronto Star
on December 15 or 16, 2017, that they were "probing the possibility that they were a murder–suicide
In response, the couple's four children issued a statement urging the police to conduct a thorough criminal investigation and chastised the police for leaking a murder-suicide theory.
They also contacted Toronto lawyer Brian Greenspan
to retain a private investigator to look into the deaths.
He hired Tom Klett, a retired Toronto Police detective who has worked in the homicide, drug, and intelligence bureaus.
The family also hired Dr. David Chiasson, the retired chief forensic pathologist for Ontario, to conduct another autopsy.
On January 20, 2018, the Toronto Star
published an exclusive report based on anonymous sources from the family's investigation team who said that the deaths were murders: the couple was strangled by belts after their hands were tied. These investigators had not yet gained access to the Sherman home. "People providing information for this story are not identified as they were not authorized to discuss the case," according to the Star
. When contacted by a reporter, a Toronto Police spokesman reiterated the position that they were treating the deaths as "suspicious".
On January 26, Toronto Police advised the news media that their investigation concluded that the couple had been murdered in a targeted attack.
At the time, they would not discuss any possible suspects, but planned to interview everyone who had access to the home prior to the deaths via the lockbox that was previously installed by the real estate agent.
The police investigation has encountered resistance at Apotex headquarters, with a police spokesman saying "Legal complexities in some executions have been challenging given the litigious nature of Barry Sherman's businesses, in particular the search and seizure of electronics in Barry Sherman's workspace at Apotex".
The police investigation was still continuing in September 2018 when detectives obtained seven search warrants in addition to the 21 previously obtained. Detective Dennis Yim told a court that "investigators are methodically reviewing material and pursuing different investigative avenues".
In late October 2018, lawyer Brian Greenspan announced that the family had offered a $10 million reward in the couple's murder investigation for any information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of a suspect. At the same time, he complained about the police investigation, claiming that it had failed to collect important evidence.
Police Chief Mark Saunders later told the news media that a forensic pathologist has been working on the case, in addition to over 50 officers, interviewing 200 witnesses and collecting over 2,000 hours of video surveillance from neighboring homes. When asked if police would be willing to work with the independent experts to be convened by Greenspan, Saunders replied in the positive, but only if the group would be accepted in a court proceeding.
By October 2018, police had obtained 37 warrants related to the investigation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Sherman https://www.insidehook.com/daily_brief/news-opinion/the-unsolved-murder-of-billionaire-ceo-barry-sherman https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/8rez4v/the_suspicious_deaths_of_canadian_billionaires/ https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/b3fwsb/barry_honey_sherman_murder_update_shermans/ https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/9rnpnc/10m_reward_offered_in_barry_and_honey_sherman/ https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/9ha3ph/barry_and_honey_sherman_unresolved_homicide/